Tag Archives: environment

What’s that Plant? Strangler Fig!

The Florida Strangler Fig wraps its roots around host trees, widens, and forms larger roots that eventually take over its host tree. This unique tree is also the host plant for the Daggerwing Butterfly! Check out the latest episode of “What’s that Plant?” to learn more about the Florida Strangler Fig.
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About Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department:
The Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department operates more than 110 parks and recreational facilities and is committed to making the quality of life for Palm Beach County residents and visitors better by providing diverse, safe and affordable recreation services, welcoming parks, and enriching social and cultural experiences by promoting wellness, fostering environmental stewardship, contributing economic value, and by improving the community every day for this and future generations. For more information about recreational opportunities and healthy, happy living, visit http://www.pbcparks.com and follow @pbcparks on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and WordPress.

Animal Encounters: Bufo Toad

Did you know the poison of the invasive Bufo Toad (a.k.a. Cane Toad) can be fatal to small animals? Watch #pbcParks “Animal Encounters” and learn more interesting facts about the Bufo Toad, which can be found in and around PBC Parks.
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About Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department:
The Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department operates more than 110 parks and recreational facilities and is committed to making the quality of life for Palm Beach County residents and visitors better by providing diverse, safe and affordable recreation services, welcoming parks, and enriching social and cultural experiences by promoting wellness, fostering environmental stewardship, contributing economic value, and by improving the community every day for this and future generations. For more information about recreational opportunities and healthy, happy living, visit http://www.pbcparks.com and follow @pbcparks on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and WordPress.

Animal Encounters: Virginia Opossum

Did you know the Virginia Opossum is the only native marsupial in North America? Watch #pbcParks “Animal Encounters” and learn some fun facts about the Virginia Opossum!

Visit Animal Ambassador, Lizzie the Virginia Opossum, at Daggerwing Nature Center — you may also spot some of the same species around the facility, boardwalk, and in other #pbcParks.

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About Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department:
The Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department operates more than 110 parks and recreational facilities and is committed to making the quality of life for Palm Beach County residents and visitors better by providing diverse, safe and affordable recreation services, welcoming parks, and enriching social and cultural experiences by promoting wellness, fostering environmental stewardship, contributing economic value, and by improving the community every day for this and future generations. For more information about recreational opportunities and healthy, happy living, visit www.pbcparks.com and follow @pbcparks on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and WordPress.

Changes Welcomed at Riverbend Park

County officials held a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 4 to celebrate the opening of Riverbend Park’s recent improvements. The ceremony was part of the free annual Pioneer Farmstead Day event  held from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

“Located along the Loxahatchee River, Florida’s first nationally designated Wild and Scenic River, Riverbend Park is an oasis of beauty connecting residents and visitors with our natural and historic treasures,” said District 1 Commissioner Hal R. Valeche.

Park improvements include the construction of a 4,500 square foot building that accommodate public restrooms and staff offices, reconfiguration of the entrance to include paved parking spaces and construction of a plaza/overlook for the adjacent Loxahatchee Battlefield Park. New underground utilities have also been installed to connect the planned improvements to the Town of Jupiter’s water and sewer system.

“Promoting the stewardship of natural, archaeological and cultural sites is a core service of the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department,” said Director Eric Call. “Park visitors are invited to explore the extensive system of self-guided trails and to experience the park’s diverse natural resources through hiking, bicycling, horseback riding, canoeing and kayaking.”

Riverbend Park is located at 9060 Indiantown Road in Jupiter and is operated by the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department. The park is open every day from sunrise to sunset.

Please visit www.pbcparks.com​ for more leisure opportunities available through the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department.

Camping in #pbcParks

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The Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department operates three campgrounds throughout the county where families can enjoy the great outdoors together in tents or an RV – John Prince Park Campground in Lake Worth, Peanut Island Campground in Riviera Beach, and South Bay RV Campground in Western Palm Beach County. Families can tell stories around a campfire, make s’mores, explore nature, or just relax near a lake!

There are a number of benefits for kids and adults who go camping:

  • Bonding & socialization: parents and kids have the opportunity to play games together, go on a nature scavenger hunt, pitch tents together, and partake in a number of socializing and bonding activities. Camping allows families to get away from hectic responsibilities of daily lives and bond without the interference of busy schedules that come with work and school.
  • Learn & improve skills: go out and explore natural settings! Camping is the perfect way to educate kids about wildlife and natural resources – families can find and identify species of plants and insects, or get up early and bird watch. Even learning to cook on a campfire allows people of all ages to develop useful skills!
  • Gain an appreciation for nature: kids and adults can develop an appreciation for wildlife and natural resources as they are surrounded by both during a camping experience; learning about and appreciating nature allows for greater interest in preserving and conserving the planet’s natural resources and contributing to protection of species for play vital roles in ecosystems.
  • Fun and relaxation: get away from the stresses of every day life! Whether you’re relaxing in a hammock or relaxing by the lake with a book, camping provides opportunities to forget your daily responsibilities and escape to a natural setting. Camping also allows families to unplug from technology, and in many cases, from the stresses that come with it.
  • Develop healthy habits: camping allows people of all ages to put down technological products that consume time and energy; escaping these distractions may provide for healthier, happier lives. Camping can also help kids and adults learn new, healthier recipes that are easy to make, and will allow families to recognize the health effects of spending time in nature, including reduced risks for heart disease, anxiety and stress.

 

Where to camp in #pbcParks

John Prince Park Campground – 4759 South Congress Ave., Lake Worth, Florida 33461

Trade in your shoes for sandals and come to John Prince Park in Lake Worth to enjoy Palm Beach-style relaxation in a family-friendly atmosphere with playgrounds, exercise trails, and nature walks. The beach is only a ten-minute drive away.

Peanut Island Campground – Intracoastal waterway, near the Lake Worth Inlet, Riviera Beach

Peanut Island Campground is well-situated for swimming, snorkeling, fishing and boating. Located near the Palm Beach Inlet, the island is surrounded by the Intracoastal Waterway.

South Bay RV Campground – 100 Levee Rd., South Bay, Florida 33493

This is your place to simply relax! South Bay RV Campground is situated next to Lake Okeechobee, and is an ideal spot for boat ramp access. The campground features fire rings, a recreation hall, and WiFi. Spacious paved RV sites include water, sewer, electric, and a picnic table with grill.

We make the quality of life for Palm Beach County residents and visitors better by providing diverse, safe and affordable recreation services, welcoming parks, and enriching social and cultural experiences. We achieve this by promoting wellness, fostering environmental stewardship, contributing economic value, and by improving our community every day for this and future generations.

For more opportunities for healthy, happy living, visit pbcParks.com.

Have a family picnic in a #pbcPark!

Picnicking is a great family activity! It’s a great opportunity to get away from the traditional setting of a dinner table and head out to a natural environment.

Benefits of picnicking:
  • Spend time outdoors in a serene setting: being outdoors has been proven to boost moods, reduce stress levels, and improve overall mental wellness. This is a chance for you and your family to be away from the stresses of every day life and enjoy a natural setting. 
  • Bond with family members: because many people live fast-paced lifestyles, there aren’t many opportunities to slow down and spend meaningful time with the people who matter. Play games, get up and walk, or simply sit still and bond over a good meal. 
  • Communicate more effectively: small talk, or even deep conversations, are essential to any good picnic. Head out and learn more about what’s going on with your family members – whether it’s school, work or friends – this is a great opportunity to connect with the people you care about and encourage effective communication skills in kids. 
  • Develop healthy eating habits: instead of buying a pre-made meal to enjoy on a picnic, try preparing a meal for your next picnic trip. Meals prepared at home are typically healthier and more nutritious than pre-made meals. Make sure you include all the basics for a full, healthy meal. 
  • Encourage active lifestyles: having group or family picnics consistently can allow families to form traditions that are passed down from generation to generation; make picnics a habit and turn it into an outing! Bring supplies for games like tug-of-war, soccer or football and encourage the kids to get up before eating to fit in some physical activity during the picnic. 
Where to picnic at #pbcParks:

Picnic areas are available at no charge from sunrise until sunset on a first-come, first-served basis at the following park locations. Visit this page fore a list of all picnicking locations in our parks:  http://discover.pbcgov.org/parks/Amenities/Picnicking.aspx.

Check out municipal parks in or near your town or city for additional picnicking locations.

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Note: please do not feed wild or stray animals. Animals that are fed can become aggressive and harass people. Wild or stray animals can become extremely territorial and bite the hand that feeds them. This can transmit disease. Animals that become used to human contact are susceptible to disease, injury, and random acts of violence.  The survival skills of wild animals are threatened when they lose the ability to forage naturally for food. This can happen when they are fed by hand or when they eat food left out for stray or abandoned pets. Stray animals hunt and kill native wildlife, even when well fed.

Green Cay Nature Center hosts ‘Project WILD’ Workshops

“I cannot remember the last time I sat in a classroom for seven hours…and enjoyed every (exhausting) minute! Green Cay’s incredible Naturalist, Jessica Andreasen, taught a motivating, inspiring program, “Project Wild” to a group of educators, environmentalists, and others who cherish our wetlands. It was a wonderful and very meaningful experience! Jessica, you are an incredibly gifted teacher!”
-Shelley Hymowitz, Volunteer, Green Cay Nature Center.


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Staff at Green Cay Nature Center are helping educators teach students HOW to think, not WHAT to think, when it comes to conservation and the environment. The nature center recently hosted a Project WILD workshop for Palm Beach County educators to help integrate wildlife-based environmental and conservation education in their classrooms.

On June 20th, Green Cay Nature Center welcomed 20 educators from the Palm Beach County School District, home school, Broward 4-H, AmeriCorps and several nature centers for an educational, fun and action-packed day-long training, hosted by naturalist Jessica Andreasen. Jessica taught Aquatic WILD and Flying WILD, which covers wetland and bird topics – making Green Cay a great venue for the lessons.

“When I remember all the people who inspired me to pursue a career in environmental education, I am proud to bring Project WILD to Green Cay as a host site and have this incredible opportunity,” Jessica said, adding that she is grateful for the opportunity “to not only teach children, but now guide educators towards incorporating these important topics into their classrooms.”

Jessica will hold a Project WILD workshop at least once a year, and already uses a lot of the activities for Green Cay’s school, public and specialty programs. Facilitators like Jessica must attend a certification program, a day-long “Train-The-Trainer” class, in order to host their own workshop.

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In addition to Aquatic WILD and Flying WILD, a new topic will be introduced as continuing education for those who have taken the core workshops. Conserving WILD covers current conservation issues, environmental policy, and conservation-based activities that can be found in all four activity guides. This workshop will discuss the importance of incorporating a conservation message into every activity to help children not only learn about the topic, but to also understand the need for conservation and preservation efforts.

“It is my hope that by being an advocate for Project WILD activities, we can work with educators to find creative but easy ways to encourage the next generations to be passionate about wildlife, conservation and the environment,” Jessica said.

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Project WILD, which stands for Wildlife in Learning Design, is an internationally-used environmental education program aimed at arming both formal and informal educators alike with the knowledge and skills to teach environmental education in their own classrooms. These activities are ideal for many audiences: formal K-12 classroom instruction, non-formal teaching, and summer camp programs emphasizing the environment.

Project WILD Florida is sponsored by the Council for Environmental Education, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and the Florida Youth Conservation Centers Network (FYCCN). Through this sponsorship, all the books and materials for this workshop were free of charge, giving facilitators like Jessica the opportunity to reach a larger audience by being able to offer the workshops with no associated costs to the participants. The Friends of Green Cay Nature Center sponsored the workshop with refreshments.

For more information about Project WILD, visit these links:

http://www.projectwild.org/

http://myfwc.com/education/educators/project-wild/

For more information about the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department, including efforts to promote stewardship of natural, archaeological and cultural sites, visit pbcParks.com.